“Harnessing collective intelligence…?” This concept was firstly defined by Tim O’Reilly while doing a conference for defining Web 2.0. This revolves around the user’s participation as well as network effect. It means that the users collaborate within the website for providing useful data, for them & for the other users of site. As more users participate in collating, better quality of information will be gathered by the website. Web 2.0 has become a norm in the modern Internet. Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, each utilizes collective intelligence for creating content.
The Sina Weibo is a Chinese microblogging website. Weibo is best described as a hybrid of Facebook, Twitter and even WordPress, and it is one of the most popular websites in China, it has more than 30% of Chinese Internet users. Weibo was launched by the SINA Corporation on 14 August 2009, and has since grown to a population of 368 million registered users as of mid 2012. About 100 million messages are posted each day on Sina Weibo.
Weibo is commonly misunderstood by many businesses as a single platform. The term “weibo” (微博) means “microblog” in Chinese. The cause of this misunderstanding is due to the fact that the “weibo.com” domain name is being owned by Sina, the largest weibo platform. However, there are other large platforms in China such as, Tencent, Sohu and NetEase each have more than 50 million registered users.
To compare Sina Weibo against the O’Reilly’s Harnessing Collective Intelligence pattem:
1. Reward the user first: The application allow user to get the information that they needed. It is very easy for the user to gain access to his or her own blog, as well as blog posts and
comments of other users. Users have free access to almost all of the contents in Weibo.
2. Set network effects by default: As a microblog website, Weibo users built up the website by posting about everything from their daily lives to specific thoughts about products, restaurants, etc. User participation indirectly from self-interests succeed in generating more network traffic.
3. Involve user, explicitly and implicitly: applications should create value from both explicit and implicit participation. Explicitly, Weibo involves users by allowing them to create contents through writing blog and commenting on posts of other users.
4. Provide a meaningful context for creation: In this case, it is very difficult to provide a subject matter when users are allowed to post almost everything on their blog. Information can be everywhere in the application.
5. Trust your users: There are a lot of people constantly following Weibo, and with the huge population in China, users could be judge instantaneously and other users will make comments telling if the information is false or out-dated. So most of the user does trust on other users.
6. Design software so that it improves as more people use it: As more users start using Weibo, it has implemented an English interface to facilitate English speaking users in navigating through the website.
7. Facilitate emergence: This is where innovation comes in handy, as Weibo are making their website more flexible to use and continuously adding new games and feature to the website.